9 amazing milestones marked in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Editor’s note: None of this article is factually accurate. Well, the next two paragraphs are. Also some of the things in the list. You know what? I can’t remember which is which now either.

This afternoon, 89-year-old Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s record of 23,226 days (and a few additional hours) on the throne.

Her Majesty delivered some modest public remarks on the occasion. “Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones—my own is no exception—but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness,” she said

But just what sort of milestones has Queen Elizabeth II marked since ascending to power? Let’s take a look back.

1) Dickensian orphans allowed to retire

Honoring wretched street urchins for their decades of service in dangerous factory settings, Queen Elizabeth II in 1956 generously pronounced them all pensioners.

2) Pop-Tarts® were in, then they fell out of favor, now it seems like they’re cool again?

Yes, it’s true: Queen Elizabeth II has outlasted the rise and fall—and rise—of Pop-Tarts® breakfast pastries.

3) Royal tiara replaced with Burger King crown

“It’s not as heavy,” Her Majesty said of the unexpected new headpiece.

4) Both of my childhood cats died

On a sad note, Queen Elizabeth II oversaw the death of my childhood cats. I have yet to receive condolences from her or Prince Philip.

5) Gary Larson’s The Far Side became bestselling daily calendars

Just think: For years, it was only possible to enjoy Gary Larson’s irreverent, single-panel comic The Far Side in newspaper form. That changed during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, when Larson licensed their use in daily calendar compilations. 

6) Fox hunting controversy

Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the monarchy came under fire in the late 1990s for tarnishing their noble fox-hunting tradition by hunting Pokémon instead. Thankfully, the fad didn’t last.

7) Ultimate Frisbee inventedStudents at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, played the first sanctioned game of “Ultimate” Frisbee in 1968, dedicating the newfangled team sport to their one true sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II.      

8) Van Halen went through three singers and two bassists

Did Queen Elizabeth II have anything to do with the band’s various lineup changes during her time on the throne? They still refuse to say.

9) Defeat of the Spanish Armada

The rout of a massive Spanish fleet on England’s east coast ensured that Protestantism and the Tudor dynasty would endure. Queen Elizabeth II: a total boss.

Photo via Michael Gwyther-Jones/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Miles Klee

Miles Klee

Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions,  and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'